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-   -   Vermiculite / Zonolite in the attic (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/vermiculite-zonolite-attic-49350/)

bobbybhb 07-21-2009 05:33 PM

Vermiculite / Zonolite in the attic
 
Hi I have 1-5% AESBESTOS Zonoilite in my attic. @1200 Sq Ft. It would cost over 10K to remove. I want to add insulation in the attic. Should I remove it? Or is it not worth the cost to remove. I could use the 10K on better things.
Thanks BB Calgary

xorion 07-21-2009 06:48 PM

Are you wanting to remove it because you believe it may be contaminated with asbestos?

bobbybhb 07-21-2009 06:52 PM

I know it has 1 - 5% Asbestos but not sure if I should remove it or just leave it and add insulation over top.

AtlanticWBConst. 07-22-2009 09:19 AM

Hello,

Thank you for posting on the DIY Chatroom. In the future, please post your DIY related questions in a specific section that the topic may fall under. This will ensure that you have the proper number of reviews and answers that you are seeking.

The "Introduction" Section is for new members posting some brief background information about themselves, and is not for finding answers on DIY related questions.

Thank You.

(Post moved)

ChemE 07-22-2009 10:58 AM

If you leave it undisturbed there is no reason to remove it.

The problem is that you want to add additional insulation to the attic which by doing so will probably disturb the existing Zonolite.

I wouldn't risk it to add the insulation with the Zonolite in place. You should evaluate the payback of removing the Zonolite, sealing your attic from the heated area of the house, and installing new insulation to your zone's R-value. If the money spent on that work pays back in energy savings within the time you expect to stay in your home then go for it. Otherwise, leave the existing Zonolite in place and don't disturb it.

Also, did you have the stuff tested? Not all vermiculite that was used for insulation contained asbestos. The only way to know for sure is to test it. I'm assuming you did.

bobbybhb 07-22-2009 06:09 PM

Testing
 
Yes it was tested and came back as Actinolite 1 - 5 % My hopes are to saty in the house for 10 years. remove it now or later? $$$

ChemE 07-22-2009 08:25 PM

Some of the things that you should consider are:

Where do you live? How cold does it get in the winter?
Is the rest of your house relatively tight?
Is your basement/rim joists insulated?
How efficient is your current heating system?

If you are only staying for 10 years, I highly doubt you will see payback for removing the asbestos and increasing the insulation in the attic.

I would spend the money on other energy efficiency improvements, such as working on sealing air leaks in your house (seal plate, rim joists, any penetrations through the house, doors, windows, etc.), insulating your basement and rim joists, and even replacing your heating system with a more efficient one. You could do a LOT for the same $10k that you would spend on the asbestos removal.

As I said before, as long as you don't disturb the asbestos it is not a problem. When you sell your home it may affect the value of the home but I wouldn't worry too much about that.

bobbybhb 07-22-2009 08:39 PM

Thanks, That's about where I am at in this house. I just bought it a month ago and have put in a high efficiency furnace, electronic filter and a Navien hot water system. I will replace the few basement windows that haven't been done to date to complete all of the windows. The house was renovated with new windows, acrylic stucco, new roof, soffit, eaves trough and fascia. The owners didn't add to the insulation in the walls and my best guess is that it is R15. The basement is insulated and might be better than R15 possibly R20.

It is a great house in a very good location in Calgary Alberta. We do get some cold weather here and in the winters it can be as low as -30c or so for a few weeks. I just want to get the best out of it while we are here. My thoughts were along the same lines to leave it as is. As you say, the only loss to value is when we sell, if it hasn't been removed by then. The side bar would be that there are some rebates in place for doing some of the changes to insulation etc. but not enough to warrant the removal costs.
Thanks Bobby B

Thurman 07-22-2009 08:57 PM

From my experience working with a major U.S. industry in the Environmental Department and all the training I went off site to: You are in Canada which of course will have different environmental laws vs. the U.S. IMO (based on U.S. training): You're problem will be whether or not you disturb or create "friability" of the existing asbestos material. As long as the existing material, which you stated is Actinolite 1%-5%, is not disturbed, then you have not created a "friability" problem with it. BUT, once disturbed and the fibers become airborne (friable), you have a problem. One possible solution, and I would certainly check with local authorities on this, would be to lay down a layer of plastic sheeting so as to prevent the disturbance of the existing material, then place additional insulation over this plastic sheeting. I don't think I would use the blown in material in this situation either. Good Luck, David

4just1don 07-22-2009 10:19 PM

they HAD a program a year ago where they(manufaturer) took it out ,,might hae been only USA tho,not sure. Might check IF there are any things there that may help you

As a DIY project, might not be so bad IF you can get a insulation blower to suck it up like a vac and blow it into an enclosed transport.

I had the stuff mixed in with 6 inches of cellulose and I pulled down the whole ceiling, let it drop,scooped up stuff and hauled to dump who took it no probs. Then can vacuum out balance as best you can,,,makes a terrible mess. Probably cant occupy house during this process. wear respirator,tyvek suit and gloves and googles and your pretty decent protected,,,its not very dusty,cellulose is worse!!

Something like a grain vac would make short work of it!! and leave the ceiling intact. take longer to haul it away than vac it!! Do you have decent attic access to ALL of it??

Leftyho 07-22-2009 11:07 PM

Hi,

You do not want to use a vapor barrier in the middle.

ChemE 07-23-2009 07:53 AM

Here's a link to a Canadian government webpage about Vermiculite containing asbestos.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv...solant-eng.php

I would like to draw your attention to a sentence that states:

"NEVER attempt to remove the insulation yourself."

Quote:

As a DIY project, might not be so bad IF you can get a insulation blower to suck it up like a vac and blow it into an enclosed transport.

I had the stuff mixed in with 6 inches of cellulose and I pulled down the whole ceiling, let it drop,scooped up stuff and hauled to dump who took it no probs. Then can vacuum out balance as best you can,,,makes a terrible mess. Probably cant occupy house during this process. wear respirator,tyvek suit and gloves and googles and your pretty decent protected,,,its not very dusty,cellulose is worse!!

Something like a grain vac would make short work of it!! and leave the ceiling intact. take longer to haul it away than vac it!! Do you have decent attic access to ALL of it??
I completely disagree with this method of removal, it will put you at risk, plain and simple.

If you can put insulation on top of the vermiculite without disturbing it in the process then you could do that, but do not try to remove it yourself. I think the best way to add insulation to minimize disturbing the vermiculite would be to roll out unfaced fiberglass batts over the floor joists in the attic perpendicular to them. That is assuming that the vermiculite is limited to in between the floor joists.

Adding insulation in this manner will have limited effectiveness however if the attic is not well air sealed from the heated portion of the house.

joed 07-23-2009 03:21 PM

This site may be of use to you. There is a bankrupcy claim for homeowners with zonolite.

http://www.graceclaims.com/q-a.shtml#5

bobbybhb 07-23-2009 05:05 PM

Thanks for the posts. I will not remove it myself, except for piece around my new vent for a hood fan. I will use the P100 filters for same. I will check into the action as mentioned above.
Thanks BB

NYGiantfan 06-24-2012 08:41 PM

Vermiculite-asbestos claims
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 305831)
This site may be of use to you. There is a bankrupcy claim for homeowners with zonolite.

http://www.graceclaims.com/q-a.shtml#5


This website doesn't offer anything, may now be defunct? I have the same problem and no solution. The vermiculite insulation in my attic will no doubt affect the resale of my home. The expense of removal vs. covering it up with insulation is the only viable alternative? I want to get rid of it, although I have not tested it for asbestos content, I know it's Zonolite. I live in New York State. Anyone know who or how to get rid of this stuff?


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